Monday, March 19, 2012

The Baker's Daughter

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The Baker's Daughter
Sarah McCoy
ISBN: 978-0-307-46018-9
Publisher: Crown
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: Highly Recommended

About the Book:
In 1945, Elsie Schmidt was a naive teenager, as eager for her first sip of champagne as she was for her first kiss. She and her family have been protected from the worst of the terror and desperation overtaking her country by a high-ranking Nazi who wishes to marry her. So when an escaped Jewish boy arrives on Elsie’s doorstep in the dead of night on Christmas Eve, Elsie understands that opening the door would put all she loves in danger.

Sixty years later, in El Paso, Texas, Reba Adams is trying to file a feel-good Christmas piece for the local magazine. Reba is perpetually on the run from memories of a turbulent childhood, but she’s been in El Paso long enough to get a full-time job and a fiancĂ©, Riki Chavez. Riki, an agent with the U.S. Border Patrol, finds comfort in strict rules and regulations, whereas Reba feels that lines can often be blurred.

Reba’s latest assignment has brought her to the shop of an elderly baker across town. The interview should take a few hours at most, but the owner of Elsie’s German Bakery is no easy subject. Reba finds herself returning to the bakery again and again, anxious to find the heart of the story. For Elsie, Reba’s questions are a stinging reminder of darker times: her life in Germany during that last bleak year of WWII. And as Elsie, Reba, and Riki’s lives become more intertwined, all are forced to confront the uncomfortable truths of the past and seek out the courage to forgive.

About the Author:
SARAH McCOY is author of the novel, The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico. She has taught English writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. The daughter of an Army officer, her family was stationed in Germany during her childhood. She calls Virginia home but presently lives with her husband and dog, Gilbert, in El Paso, Texas. The Baker’s Daughter is her second novel. She is currently working on her next.

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I think what I loved most about this novel was the shift between the past and the present.  This is unusual for historical fiction novels.  Most of the novels I've read might start in the present but move to the past before ending up back in the present for the finish.  The Baker's daughter is expertly written and cleverly crafted.  I enjoyed the WWII story just as much as I enjoyed Reba's story.  Both women have hardships both inward and outward. The story is complex and full of intriguing and well developed characters.  In short, you won't want to put it down.  Its heart breaking, haunting, endearing and beautifully told.  The story is carefully woven in a complex mystery full of history and plenty of personality.  Both Elise and Reba are characters I could understand and relate too.  They are well developed and have quite a lot in common though they are both very different. I think many readers will enjoy this novel.

You'll enjoy this if....
You like historical fiction
You enjoy stories that switch between past and present
Your a fan of fiction
You enjoy complex plots
You love a well rounded and intriguing book

You might not enjoy this if....
You aren't a fan of historical fiction
You are sensitive to WWII topics/stories
You prefer to read a story set intierly in the past or present but not both
You don't enjoy stories with dark periods

Highly Recommended


  1. This sounds like an amazing book - so glad you enjoyed it!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  2. I'm halfway through this novel and loving it! Great review. :)

  3. I have really come to enjoy books that go back and forth from the present to the past. I just read a book that did that and it worked really well - have you read Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay? It uses that format at well.

    This book sounds really good. I had read a few books in a row set during the WWII timeperiod and enjoyed them. I'm looking forward to reading this one.

  4. Sounds like an interesting read. I added it to my TBR pile. Nice review!


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